GENERATION 84: a straightforward punk rock band inspired by traveling, seeing new places and meeting new people

Generation 84 plays punk rock for people in a good state of mind; they played many shows in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany

Hi. Tell us something about Generation 84 project.
We are Generation 84 and we’ve been a band for 5 years now. We play straightforward punk rock in the vein of Bad Religion, AFI and Good Riddance. In our 5 years as a band we have released two EP’s and one full CD. We’ve had the opportunity to play many shows in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany and we’ve shared the stage with NOFX, Mad Caddies, Against Me, No Fun At All, A Wilhelm Scream, Death by Stereo and many other great bands.

Tell us something about your last musical production.
In April we released a 5 song EP called ‘Let’s Do This’. We took a slightly new approach for this album as the songs are shorter and faster than our previous work. We released it on 10” vinyl, which was something we had been wanting to do for a long time.

Where did you get inspiration for your music?
Obviously we get a lot of inspiration from listening to music and watching bands perform live. The band members all listen to punk rock, but we also like a lot of different genres like black metal, rock ‘n roll and folk music. That’s an interesting cocktail for making music. We also get a lot of inspiration from travelling and seeing new places and new faces.

Which artists have influenced your style & sound, if any?
In the beginning our main influences were bands like Strike Anywhere, Bad Religion and Rise Against (in their early days), but now we shifted towards a more straightforward Good Riddance and early AFI kind of style. But as I said before, we draw a lot of influences from a whole bunch of different genres as well.

How is being a band from Heist-op-den-berg – Belgium? What’s the best live act in your area? Tell us something about it.
Being a Belgian band usually means you have to work a bit harder to get good shows. Promoters often book American or English bands, just because they’re American or English. Also, it’s really hard to stand out these days, as there are a lot more bands around than some 15 to 20 years ago and all the bands are all over the Internet. Most members of our band were already in bands back then and they know how hard you have to work to get some exposure. Nevertheless, there’s a really nice scene in our area where everyone kind of knows everyone and it’s a lot of fun. Some of the best bands in our area these days include The Priceduifkes and F.O.D. The Priceduifkes are doing really good. They release great (pop) punk records and have toured in the US. F.O.D. is also doing really good, having released two killer poppy punk rock records the last few years and playing shows all over the place, even in Canada. There’s also a fairly new female-fronted band called For I Am who are doing really well. We played their record release show a couple of months ago. It’s good to have some more women in the scene.

On you define your genre “punk rock”. What does it mean to be a punk rock band today?
Being a punk rock band immediately means you’re in a very narrow niche that not many people like or can relate to. Most people are easily scared off when you say you play punk rock music. People that don’t have a clue usually think it’s too loud and the singers are “always screaming”. As I mentioned before, a lot of our band members have been in bands since the 90’s, so they were around when punk rock exploded and they’re still around now while it’s gradually declining. Attendance at shows is declining and you tend to see a lot of the same audience members at every show. But actually it’s not that important. As long as you give it 100% every time you hit the stage and the people at the show are in a good state of mind, that sense of community is incomparable to any other music genre.

What’s the best live music show you’ve seen recently?
In the beginning of summer we got the chance to support Strung Out at a show in Ostend. They killed it that night, but there was another band that left the biggest impression on me. They’re called Death Before Disco and they actually played a one time reunion show. I saw them a couple of times when they were still an active band many years ago, but they absolutely nailed it after some 8 years of inactivity. We also played a local festival in August and we saw our buddies of the Israeli band Not on Tour perform a great set. They’re rapidly gaining popularity and we’ve known them since they first came to Europe, so it’s nice to see them doing really well.

Tell us something about your last tour. Are you looking for gigs in the future? Do you plan to have a tour in the near future? Tell us something about it.
We don’t really tour a lot as we have a lot of conflicting schedules, most of us have small children and sometimes it’s just really hard to take time off from work. However, we’ve been thinking about doing a tour next year, but that’s still in the very early stages, so there’s nothing to tell at the moment really.

Tell us something about your best and your worst memory on the road.
I can only speak for myself on this one, but I think our best memory was when we played our first show in Tongeren a couple of years ago. We didn’t really expect much of it, because we had never played in that area before. To make things worse, we were headlining the show after the Priceduifkes (which I mentioned before) and we figured everyone would just go home after they had played. To our surprise, everyone stayed, so the venue was completely packed and once we started, the crowd went absolutely crazy. There were stage diving, sing-a-longs and people dancing all over the place. We had to pinch ourselves to believe what we were seeing and I think we played our best show as Generation 84 on that evening, so to me that’s a really fond memory. With our support show for NOFX in Amsterdam last year coming in as a close second. The worst memory I have of playing shows with Gen 84 is when I was recovering from a lump on my vocal chords. I thought I had recovered enough and we decided to play a local show. However, it was way too soon for me to start singing again and I felt it right from the start. The show was an absolute nightmare. I sang terribly, so we tuned the guitars down during the show, but that didn’t make it any better and I struggled through that half hour. It was definitely the worst moment for me in my singing career and I’m glad I have fully recovered from it.

What do you think of Do you think it could be a good tool to facilitate the process of booking and organizing shows? Do you have any suggestions?
I didn’t really know it before and it looks like a really good tool to find new bands, promoters and new venues. With so much information all over the Internet, it’s often hard to find out where you have to start looking and this website could make that a lot easier. We’ll definitely look into it when we start planning our shows for next year.